The traditional chief identified simply as Ilesanmi Olorigbo, from Aita quarters of Ilupeju-Ekiti, was forced to dig a deep well inside the market as part of his several punishments, Daily Post reports.
Chief Olorigbo is reported to have been stripped naked earlier and paraded around the town for hours after he was caught stealing a phone at his Aita quarters in the community.
Daily Post reports that on Sunday, November 13, some youths in the area received a tip-off that a phone which had gone missing on Saturday, November 12, was found with the chief.
According to the reports, the case was made known to the town’s monarch, HRM Oba Olaleye Oniyelu, the Apeju of Ilupeju-Ekiti, who immediately sent the ‘Emese’ (palace guards) to fetch Olorigbo.
A resident of the area who reportedly witnessed the incident told Daily Post, “On getting to the palace, the Olorigbo was promptly searched and the missing cell phone was found inside his pocket. Apparently, he was caught unawares as he did not know what the Kabiyesi had wanted from him."
The monarch who was angered by the incident, reportedly invoked some draconian laws of the community which punished such crimes with the stripping up of the thief, compelling the thief to dance round the town in the full glare of the townspeople and also engaging the thief in hard labour inside the king’s market for a full month.
As soon as the pronouncement was made, Olorigbo was reportedly stripped naked and made to dance around the community, while angry and excited residents jeered at him.
Olorigbo's third punishment began at the dawn of Monday, November 14, with his punishment explained by another resident identified as Mr Luku.
“From very early this morning, (yesterday), the Olorigbo, also called chief Ilesanmi has began to dig a deep borehole inside the Oba’s market at the centre of Ilupeju.
“He would first clear the bushes around the spot and thereafter begin to dig the well, the well must bring crystal clean water or else, his punishment won’t be complete.
“This will serve as a deterrent to other would be thieves in the community, ” he said.
He added that the case had not been reported at the police station seeing as the issue had been handled by the community.
However, Daily Post reached out to the Apeju of Ilupeju Ekiti, Oba Olaleye Oniyelu, who denied that the chief was stripped and paraded around the community.
In a telephone chat, the monarch said he was at the hospital at the time but that the case had been reported at the police station by his wife.
“When the matter was brought to the palace, I was in the hospital and the matter was taken to the police station and I don’t know what really happened. I don’t know whether he was paraded round the town, but I will find out.
“Olorigbo calls himself a chief he used to perform rituals and he is the leader of those praying at one of the shrines and anybody whose hand is not clean cannot go there. The adherents of the deity said he will be removed. That is what I know.
“I am not aware that he was stripped naked; that was the reason why the matter was reported to the palace. It was my wife that called the police.”
According to a police spokesman, Alberto Adeyemi, Olorigbo has since been arrested and the matter set to be charged to court.